DENVILLE, NJ -- About 40 cars, including vehicles of the Denville police and fire departments, lined the driveway to Morris Catholic High School for a surprise car parade to recognize this year’s 2020 graduates from the neighboring Assumption College for Sisters on May 9.
“I am excited to be able to do something nice for this group since their graduation will be unlike any other,” said Sister Joseph Spring, president of Assumption.
“We are a close-knit group of sisters here and when a class graduates, the others ‘pull out all the stops’ to make the day special. Since a modified graduation ceremony is yet to be decided, we are taking small measures to make their special event memorable.”
The Assumption College for Sisters is a private two-year Roman Catholic women’s college. Founded in 1953 through an affiliation with nearby Seton Hall University, Assumption is run by the Sisters of Christian Charity. It is the last remaining college primarily designed to educate nuns located in the United States. Since 2015, Assumption has shared a campus with Morris Catholic High School.
This year, Assumption recognized eight graduates for 2020. These graduates are part of the International Sisters from parts of Africa and South East Asia. They have taken classes at Assumption for about three years and arrived on a scholarship provided by Assumption College for Sisters.
“This year’s graduation class, like all the classes before, has distinguished itself by its hard work and commitment to studies along with their commitment to their religious life,” said Sister Spring.
“They have come from five different countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya) and five different religious congregations. What seems to have made this class unique is that most of them came to Assumption College with little or no English proficiency and upon graduation, they have all been offered scholarships to a four-year college to attain their BA.”
Originating from Kensington, Connecticut, Sister Spring entered the Aspirancy of the Sisters of Christian Charity in Mendham, in 1960. She began her college education at Assumption College for Sisters and, after her first vows, continued at Marillac College in St. Louis, Missouri, to receive a bachelor’s in American Studies. She received her master’s in education at Seton Hall University. She has served in various educational ministries: elementary teacher and elementary school principal in New York and Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida, assistant superintendent of schools in the Paterson Diocese, and now as the president of Assumption College for Sisters since 2011.
The 2020 graduates include Sr. Mary Thuan Bui, FMV—Daughters of the Visitation, from Vietnam, Georgian Court University, in Lakewood, New Jersey; Sr. Martina Marni, SDV—Sisters of Divine Vocation, from Indonesia, College of Saint Elizabeth, in Convent Station, New Jersey; Sr. Lucia Misoji, OSB-OLHC—Benedictine Sisters of Our Lady Help of Christians, from Tanzania, Mount Marty College, in Yankton, South Dakota; Sr. Isabel Mula, CPS—Sisters of the Precious Blood, from Mozambique, Divine Word College, in Epworth, Idaho; Sr. Pascaline Musyoka, CPS—Sisters of the Precious Blood, from Kenya, Georgian Court University, in Lakewood, New Jersey; Sr. Maria Duong Nguyen, FMV—Daughters of the Visitation, from Vietnam, Kings College, in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania; Sr. Lucia Luyen Pham, LHC-TT—Lovers of the Holy Cross Thu Tiem, from Vietnam, Seton Hall University, in South Orange, New Jersey; Sr. Maria Linh Tran, LHC-TT—Lovers of the Holy Cross Thu Tiem, from Vietnam, Seton Hall University.
The car parade came as a complete surprise for the graduates and they felt the love and support of their school and local community.
“This was indeed a big surprise,” said graduate Pascaline Musyoka.
“This is all very touching,” said graduate Lucia Luyen Pham.
“I never thought we would have a big celebration like this. I wish to thank all the sisters and staff who accompanied us in every situation. I’ll never forget it.”
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